Free agent running back LeGarrette Blount is scheduled to visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers this Friday.
The team is bare in the backfield and needs to add depth behind the only back they’ve got, Le’Veon Bell. Signing LeGarrette Blount would be an excellent move but it brings up the question, is Blount a backup or a starter?
Blount’s coming off a season with the New England Patriots where he carried the rock for 772 yards and seven touchdowns. Blount’s style of play is one that exemplifies what Steelers football used to stand for. That’s hard nosed, pound the ball down your throat football.
Bell’s capable of pounding the ball but not like Blount. No, Blount’s much tougher and could remind Steelers fans of the days where Jerome Bettis ran over players like Brian Urlacher.
The Steelers need a back like Blount and it would compliment Bell nicely. Last week I asked if the team should look at Knowshon Moreno as a back up to Bell. They should, but he isn’t a bruiser and there’s no plans to meet with Moreno like there is Blount.
The Steelers seem very interested in Blount as it’s been reported that head coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert both want to be present for meeting.
Blount, like Moreno and Bell, has the potential to be a starting back. Last week the Steelers met with former Jacksonville Jaguars free agent running back Maurice Jones-Drew who left the steel city without a contract.
MJD left empty handed because the once-star back isn’t going to take a back seat to Bell, a guy who showed promise in his first season but hasn’t proved anything just yet. This could be the case with Blount who’s been around for several seasons and could be another team’s starter.
If the Steelers and Blount came to an agreement, I wouldn’t see it has Bell’s the starter and Blount’s the backup even if that’s what the depth chart told us. I’d see it as, Bell’s the versatile, get the ball up the field guy and Blount’s the bruiser, goal line, “finish them off” kind of player. It’s not to say Blount only plays in short yardage situations but having him in on those increases the odds of a goal line touchdown or a short yardage first-down.
An interesting article from Behind the Steel Curtain sparked my interest about Blount. The writer says he can see Steeler Nation calling for Blount to start and Bell’s confidence lowering as Blount’s incorporated into the offense.
If the yinzers see it the way I do, there’s no “this guy’s our number one and this guy’s our number two.” It’s a dynamic duo that could help increase a running game that’s been absent for many seasons now.
The Steelers need the one-two punch of Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker and with Blount and Bell it’s close to that.
Signing Blount shouldn’t discourage Bell’s confidence or make him believe the Steelers aren’t sold on him, if anything it helps him compete better in camp and prove himself even more.
The Steelers have invested themselves in Bell as the back of the future and he’s got a lot to prove still but after a solid rookie season he’s capable of being the go-to-guy for years to come and the Steelers know this.
If Blount jumps on board we could see a Steelers’ backfield that we’ve been missed for a long time.